photo courtesy of Eygló
“My dad likes to tell people that as soon as my fingers reached the keys on the piano I would press them and that I never seemed to make noise or banged the piano, I would always press the keys gently,” Eygló said.
“I obviously don't remember any of those instances but what I do remember is my first inspiration to sit down and write a piece of music. I remember seeing a play when I was about 3 years old, and after seeing that play I wrote I sat down at the piano and wrote this little pentatonic melody that I thought for some reason sounded just like the play I had just seen.”
Two decades and a handful of years later, Eygló transformed evolutions of these acoustic worlds into “Lo and Behold,” a swirling orchestral work for The Icelandic Symphony Orchestra that premiered at Reykjavik’s Dark Music Days 2020.
“As I have never studied composition in Iceland, and barely had my music performed there, I felt like this was my one chance to prove myself for the Icelandic new music scene,” Eygló said. “What was interesting, in the end is that the teachers I've had and the composers I've interacted with in America have almost all told me that my music sounds Icelandic. But after the premiere of my orchestra piece Icelandic composers told me that my music did not sound Icelandic at all. So I guess my music is located somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.”
Eygló’s path to this opportunity took years to realize and has led her around the world, not only as a composer, but also a vocalist. She notably sang alongside Björk on tour, while also gaining performance credits on the album Biophilia.
This collaboration helped push Eygló into her current path.
“I think my favorite part of the tour, in general, was when we did a residency in Los Angeles in the summer of 2013,” Eygló said. “Until then, I had been struggling with finishing a BSc degree in Psychology, and as weird as it sounds, given up on music. But in LA something happened within me, where I realized that not only did I want to do music for the rest of my life, I simply had to.”
“I decided to apply to Berklee College of music and move from Iceland to pursue music in America,” Eygló continued.
“Other amazing things that happened in LA… I played Ping Pong against my favorite comedian, who also happened to be the mayor of Reykjavík at the time, Jón Gnarr. I also went to a pool party at Danny Devito's house in Beverly Hills. When I tell that story I like to add that there was no deep end to the pool. But that is, unfortunately, a lie.”
From this point, Eygló etched out a unique musical niche discovering sublimity in gentleness and quiet places.
“For me, the best sounds have to be versatile,” Eygló said. “Although some great sounds exist, they too often can only be played at one dynamic and those sounds tend to be on the louder side. I like sounds that are softer, and I like to explore the dynamic range of soft sounds. Lately, I've been very much into ASMR sounds, specifically sounds of slimes.”
With the Dark Music Days festival behind her and an accumulated sound world under her belt, Eygló now sets her sights on embarking on new musical exploits.
“I'm planning on writing a musical with my friends in Iceland who are playwrights, Eygló said. “The musical will be based on a board game called Danger Game and was originally made to fund the release of EVE online.”
The musical isn’t the only musical goal Eygló has in mind.
“[In] a party after the performance of my piece with all the members of the Iceland symphony orchestra and other composers… they had hired a DJ to play music,” Eygló said. “I waited until everyone had had a couple of drinks, and started spreading this idea of putting together a cover band called ‘Deceptive Cadence’ that would play at this event the following year and make very weird new music jokes like ‘Next song we'll perform is Theme and Variation on 4'33”’”
“My dream project is probably to start that cover band.”
You can hear more of Eygló's work on her Soundcloud and her string quartet "silfra" performed by JACK Quartet can be heard below.
Erich is a musician and writer living between Montreal and New York whose work appears on Best Life, Eat This, Not That!, MSN, and more and has represented artists for years as a PR rep. He likes weird music. If you want to find his music, it's over here.